RECOMMENDED READING
American Compass Releases Conservative Economic Agenda for 118th Congress
Hayek’s Broken Promise
Comparative Disadvantage

The latest crop of young entrants to conservative discourse is drawing a lot of media fascination. And understandably: there are vanishingly few young people, especially with college degrees, who identify as conservative. Many, especially older conservatives, want to know what the young right thinks, says, reads, and looks like. For more established generations invested in the conservative movement, the young are viewed with a sense of urgency. They must be studied and their insights heeded to ensure conservatism’s longevity.

Speaking from experience, many academic or membership programs like those at American Compass and the American Enterprise Institute afford real friendship, intellectual growth, cultivation of virtue, and merriment to participants. But other programs, often out of political strategy, seem more focused on building highly visible pedestals for their young, talented participants, pushing them to cultivate personal branding without providing requisite character formation. Some are prepared to lead at a young age and do so successfully, of course, and it’s good that they have such opportunities. Nor do I suggest that any current young leaders are ill-suited for their role; rather, I am cautioning against a growing attitude of urgency to save conservatism and defeat “wokism” by turning armies of 22-year-olds into pundits. It’s a failing strategy, and it doesn’t instill the virtues needed to lead well. Enabling swaths of young intellectuals to enjoy podiums and attention from awed onlookers is a dangerous game and puts psychologically unhealthy pressure on those not ready for the spotlight. Moreover, it lends too much credence to many voices that haven’t had the time to take in reality’s various inflections, which usually force a little humility.

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Recommended Reading
American Compass Releases Conservative Economic Agenda for 118th Congress

Today, American Compass is releasing New Direction: Conservative Principles & Policies for the 118th Congress, an agenda for economic renewal, focused on the interests of worker, their families and communities, and the nation.

Hayek’s Broken Promise

It is a tragedy that Friedrich Hayek’s excesses, invested with the authority of his (deserved) reputation, became the unexamined default for right-of-center economic thinking in America.

The resulting orthodoxy too often combines a Panglossian insistence on defending market outcomes regardless of their quality with a reflexive belief that policy intervention can only be distortive for the worse.

But when it comes to international trade’s effect on the American economy, a knowing assertion that nothing should be done, followed by yet another “analysis” working backward to an argument that nothing needs doing, will no longer do.

Comparative Disadvantage

If comparative advantage is created rather than discovered, refusing to play the game has consequences.